The Truth Is… [Fiction]

As they walked down the drive toward where they had, according to the servants, left the car, Sheridan gave him a disbelieving look.

“You were lucky to get out of there with your head.”

“He wouldn’t have had me bring you if he intended to execute me. Though I almost thought he meant to execute you in order to send me a message.” Alex’s clinical interpretation of the situation made Sheridan’s eyes widen. In all the years she’d been friends with Alexander and known his family, she’d never felt endangered. Knowing she might have come that close to being destroyed, summarily, did not make her heart easy.

The massive iron gates, installed long before Alexander was born, swung open at a touch. They were never locked. No one in their right mind would be on the Magnus’s property without an invitation. Not even his family members. You appeared when summoned and not a moment before. Alex turned to look back at the house.

In a high window, he could just make out the shape of a woman, perhaps his mad Aunt. The Magnus kept her locked away as she couldn’t be trusted to take care of herself and the abilities she exhibited had some deleterious effects on others.

Around them, snow sifted down from the heavens.

“Where to now?” Sheridan asked.

“I’m dropping you off at home and going to get my car. After that, I don’t know. I have things I need to take care of. People I need to see. Lives I probably should at least attempt to threaten.”

“The way he just threatened yours?”

“Subtle as a hammer and I will do the same.”

He swept her up in his arms.

“Hide your eyes, Dani.”

She buried her face in his shoulder and the pair disappeared from beside the stone wall. When they reappeared, Alexander’s foyer welcomed them with warmth and emptiness. He never anticipated anyone waiting for him in his home who didn’t have the right to be there. Fury came around the corner, black wings folded careful against her back.

“Aliyah,” Alexander acknowledged her as he put Sheridan down on her feet. “What’s happened?”

“Came looking for you. Found the car. Couldn’t find you. Guessed you’d pop up here eventually.”

“Indeed,” he said. “What’s the problem?”

“Nothing. I just need to report in and you’ve been out of sorts of late. Heard you made it as far as the club so I figured now was as good a time as any.”

With a sigh and a shake of his head, Alex said, “Whatever it is, I’ll hear about it soon enough, don’t worry about it.”

“You look like you’ve been to see the old man.”

“He made himself clear I’ve been neglectful. I don’t need another reminder.”

Sheridan walked out, patting Aliyah on the shoulder as she went.

“Gotcha. I think I’ll go see how Sound is doing in the pool house.”

“Thank you.”

Alone in the foyer, he rubbed his wrists first right then left. There was work to be done and he had been neglectful. Best to get to it. He disappeared to pick up his car.

Aliyah passed Sheridan in the living room lighting up a cigarette with her fingertip.

“How long has he been awake?”

“Less than four hours.”

“And he’s already been to see the old man? Shit.”

“Yeah.” Sheridan blew an expert smoke ring to the ceiling. “He’s rattled. I’ve never seen him so uncertain of himself.”

“Did you tell him about?”

“I didn’t have to. Magnus offed him.”

Aliyah bristled, her wings puffing in the gesture of the threatened.

“He honestly will get rid of any of us, won’t he?”

“Alexander thinks the reason I was allowed in on the meeting was because the Magnus wanted to insure Alexander knew he wasn’t the only one with a life to lose should he continue to fuck around.”

Tapping her ashes into a nearby crystal ashtray, Sheridan lounged back to look at the ceiling.

“Some day I wonder if I shouldn’t take what I’ve got and make for the hills.”

“You’ll never do it and we both know why.”

Alexander slipped into the driver’s seat of his BMW and turned on the heat. His blood thinner than paper. Magnus threatening him was one thing. Sheridan was quite another. He’d already lost one person to ambition. He’d be damned if he’d lose another.

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